©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Tough tests ahead

Schmidt hoping to make most of 'suffocating' international windows

The outgoing Leinster coach says he is looking forward to working with players from all four provinces.

NEW IRELAND HEAD coach Joe Schmidt admitted today that his new role will hold different challenges from his position at club level.

Schmidt was announced as the new coach by the IRFU just after noon today following weeks of speculation that saw names like Conor O’Shea and Ewen McKenzie fall by the wayside.

His appointment has largely been greeted positively by Ireland’s rugby community. But if there is a doubt over his ability it is down to an absence of international experience.

“I think that window is fairly suffocating.” Schmidt said on the limited time he will have to spend with the international squad. “If I said there wasn’t a bit of  trepidation there I’d be lying.

“But at the same time, I’ve gained a bit of confidence and I’ve benefited massively from having a really good management staff and a super playing staff at Leinster who have been incredibly motivated.

“I see the way the other provincial teams play and I’m looking forward to getting those guys together for the suffocating windows.”

With Les Kiss set to remain in his role throughout this June’s tour of North America, Schmidt’s new back-room team has yet to be decided upon with the Kiwi joking: “I’ve just got my own details today, so it’s a little bit harder to project anything further than that.”

While refusing to fuel speculation, Schmidt did express a hope that he will have his support team of coaches ready to go in ‘four to six weeks’.

YouTube credit: RTE

Kiss, along with Gert Smal and Anthony Foley remain as the senior squad’s coaching ticket having been installed to work alongside Declan Kidney until June.

As it happened: Joe Schmidt’s 1st briefing as Ireland coach

Meet the new boss: the rise and rise of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.